Government of Tanzania, UNHCR, convene a High-Level Dialogue to discuss refugee issues

Tanzania. Government of Tanzania, UNHCR, convene a High-Level Dialogue to discuss refugee issues

Ambassador Liberata R Mulamula, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Eastern African Cooperation in Tanzania, talking to Gillian Triggs, UNHCR's Assistant High Commissioner for Protection during the High-Level Dialogue.  © UNHCR/Edward Ogolla

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - The Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, convened a High-Level Dialogue in Dar es Salaam, from 1-2 March 2022 to discuss refugee protection and solutions, support to host communities and to increase their partnership.

Acknowledging the United Republic of Tanzania’s long-standing commitment to hosting refugees and in line with the Global Compact on Refugees, the Dialogue agreed on further efforts to improve access to territory and international protection, enhance asylum adjudication systems and structures, reinvigorate the voluntary repatriation programme to Burundi and bolster livelihood opportunities for refugees.

“For decades, Tanzania has generously opened its doors and become a safe haven for thousands of people who were forced to flee due to conflict. This Dialogue was an excellent opportunity for the Tanzanian government and UNHCR to recognize the many achievements so far and agree on ways to improve refugees’ living conditions, continue to search for long lasting solutions as well as increase support to the communities that are hosting them.” said Gillian Triggs, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Protection.

The Dialogue further strengthened the close collaboration between the Government and UNHCR.

“The Dialogue demonstrated the importance the Government attaches to the partnership between Tanzania and UNHCR, which is underpinned by mutual trust, a sense of responsibility and shared values,” said Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation at the official opening of the Dialogue. 

The Dialogue also noted the critical role played by the international community in supporting the refugee operations and encouraged additional support be provided to maintain the level of services for refugees and increase the support to host communities, in line with the Global Compact on Refugees and burden-sharing principles.

“Serving refugees is an international responsibility that has never been easy and that the host country cannot do on its own,” said Eng. Hamad Masauni, Tanzania’s Minister of Home Affairs, “It is a partnership activity which requires efforts by multiple stakeholders. Therefore, we appeal to donor countries to match the Government’s efforts and step-up financial support to the response.”

“Providing support to refugees year upon year is extremely challenging, and we at UNHCR remain committed to support the United Republic of Tanzania so that refugees and the communities that host them are able to have access to basic services and be supported with livelihood opportunities,” said Raouf Mazou, UNHCR’s Assistant High Commissioner for Operation, adding, “but we need the financial support from the international community to be able to do so.”

Of the US$114.5 million needed to assist refugees and host communities in Tanzania this year, only a fraction has been received from donors so far.

Upon the conclusion of the Dialogue, a set of key recommendations were jointly adopted by the Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and UNHCR. 

As of 31 January 2022, the United Republic of Tanzania hosted over 247,000 refugees and asylum-seekers mainly from Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). 

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